Apple Mail Security Issue

Apple always took a firm stance on user security and reliability when it comes
to their iPhone series. The iOS operating system is known as one of the most
secure operating systems in the market. However, 2 major vulnerabilities have
been recently discovered that have existed for years and are actively being exploited in the wild.

Researchers at security firm ZecOps were conducting a routine Digital Forensics
and Incident Response (DFIR) investigation when they ran into some abnormalities with some iPhones. This led to the discovery of 2 vulnerabilities in the default Apple Mail app – an out-of-bounds write and a heap-overflow. These vulnerabilities can lead to remote code execution and total takeover of the device.
The alarming part is how long these vulnerabilities have been around – researchers say they have existed at least since iOS 6, which was released in September of 2012.

The first attacks in the wild that they could find were from January 2018; that’s over 2 years of exploitation. Some suspected targets include
Managed Security Service Providers from the Middle East, journalists in Europe,
corporate executives from Japan and Sweden, as well as individuals at a Fortune 500 organization in North America.

The 2 vulnerabilities stem from a common issue: how the application handles
return values from system calls. The vulnerability can be exploited by sending a
large e-mail, or at least one large enough to consume enough RAM to cause the
overflow and bounds issues. In iOS 13, the exploit can work even without user
interaction, while in iOS 12 the user has to click on the e-mail, but the attack
can take place before the content is rendered. Users may notice a slight delay in
the mail app on iOS 13 for a short time, but other than that there is no other
noticeable abnormal behavior. In iOS 12, the exploit has been known to cause
the mail app to occasionally crash. Part of the attacker’s routine is to remove
the e-mail from the victim’s phone, showing operational security awareness in
cleaning their tracks.

    Apple has released a publicly-available beta of version 13.4.5 with a fix for both
vulnerabilities, but the patch has not made it to stable release yet. Until that
happens, it is recommended to disable the Apple Mail app and switch to Outlook or Gmail if updating to the beta isn’t possible. Also, make sure to log out of
the Apple Mail app as well.





Microsoft Corporation Buys

    The Domain Name System (DNS) is something most of us use every day, whether we think about it or not. It is hugely convenient for converting human readable addresses into the addresses that computers actually use to communicate
with each other. Sometimes this convenience can have unintended side effects
though, such as hundreds of thousands of computers constantly attempting to
send potentially sensitive information to an unintended location. In an attempt
to help secure computers worldwide Microsoft recently purchased the domain
name ‘’ for an undisclosed sum (likely north of a million dollars) from a
private party.
Why would they or you care about this nondescript domain name? The reason
stems back to the Windows 2000 days and poorly configured Active Directory

    Active Directory is a service commonly utilized in corporate networks
which among other things handles authentication and shared computing resources. This is the service that allows you to map network drives and printers
easily on a primarily Windows network. In order to map those services DNS is
utilized so that users don’t have to remember a bunch of IP addresses. The issue is that old versions of Active Directory defaulted to ‘corp’ as the root name,
causing collisions anywhere outside of the specific corporate network it was
setup on.
If the computer tried to look up the fileserver address for example, it would ask
the Active Directory service for the address using the name ‘fileservercorp’. On
the original network the Active Directory server would know about the ‘corp
configuration’ and return the correct address. But if the user was on a different
network, such as at a hotel or home, they would likely get back a generic DNS
response for the ‘’ domain name. The computer would then try to
access this resource as normal, potentially sending authentication tokens or
other details to the computer that ‘’ was pointing to.

     Microsoft started working on this problem in 2009 when it issued updates designed to mitigate the problem. They also issued updates in 2015 designed to
further mitigate the issue. It turns out that a lot of computers simply never updated, as information never stopped flowing to ‘’. Microsoft has also
recommended not using the default ‘corp’ setting in Active Directory for as long
as they have known about the issue. Now at least with the domain in the hands
of Microsoft they can monitor the incoming traffic and perhaps find out a way
to stop it all together.



You should be restricting NTLM

There is a security issues that most people do not know
about .. That when you share a file in zoom  and other products, your computer can passes your NTLM security credentials,

There is a GPO that should be set to only pass NTLM inside your

Called Network security:
Restrict NTLM: NTLM authentication in this domaim

Security considerations

This section describes how an attacker might exploit a feature or its configuration, how to implement the countermeasure, and the possible negative consequences of countermeasure implementation.
NTLM and NTLMv2 authentication is vulnerable to a variety of malicious attacks, including SMB replay, man-in-the-middle attacks, and brute force attacks. Reducing and eliminating NTLM authentication from your environment forces the Windows operating system to use more secure protocols, such as the Kerberos version 5 protocol, or different authentication mechanisms, such as smart cards.


Malicious attacks on NTLM authentication traffic resulting in a compromised server or domain controller can occur only if the server or domain controller handles NTLM requests. If those requests are denied, this attack vector is eliminated.


When it has been determined that the NTLM authentication protocol should not be used within a network because you are required to use a more secure protocol such as the Kerberos protocol, then you can select one of several options that this security policy setting offers to restrict NTLM usage within the domain.

Potential impact

If you configure this policy setting, numerous NTLM authentication requests could fail within the domain, which could degrade productivity. Before implementing this change through this policy setting, set Network security: Restrict NTLM: Audit NTLM authentication in this domain to the same option so that you can review the log for the potential impact, perform an analysis of servers, and create an exception list of servers to exclude from this policy setting by using Network security: Restrict NTLM: Add server exceptions in this domain.


Secret Service Issues COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Phishing Alert

March 9, 2020
CMR 04-20
Secret Service Issues COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Phishing Alert

    WASHINGTON – Criminals are opportunists, and as seen in the past, any major news event can become an opportunity for groups or individuals with malicious intentions. The Coronavirus is no different. In fact, the Coronavirus is a prime opportunity for enterprising criminals because it plays on one of the basic human conditions…fear. Fear can cause normally scrupulous individuals to let their guard down and fall victim to social engineering scams, phishing scams, non-delivery scams, and auction fraud scams.

    The United States Secret Service is proactively taking steps to alert the public about the types of email scams associated with the Coronavirus. The Secret Service’s Global Investigative Operations Center (GIOC) reports the subsequent email scams:

    “Phishing” is the fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to entice individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers. Phishing scams have become ubiquitous through email communication and ecommerce. Cyber criminals are exploiting the Coronavirus through the wide distribution of mass emails posing as legitimate medical and or health organizations. In one particular instance, victims have received an email purporting to be from a medical/health organization that included attachments supposedly containing pertinent information regarding the Coronavirus.
    This lead to either unsuspecting victims opening the attachment causing malware to infect their system, or prompting the victim to enter their email login credentials to access the information resulting in harvested login credentials. This type of incident enables further occurrences of cyber enabled financial crimes such as Business Email Compromise (BEC), PII theft, ransomware and account takeovers. Another side effect of the Coronavirus is increased teleworking, which furthers the reliance on email for communication adding yet another multiplier to these email fraud schemes. More of these incidents are expected, and increased vigilance regarding email communication is highly encouraged.

Another emerging fraud scheme exploiting the Coronavirus is using social engineering tactics through legitimate social media websites seeking donations for charitable causes related to the virus. Criminals are exploiting the charitable spirit of individuals, seeking donations to fraudulent causes surrounding the Coronavirus. Increased caution should be exercised when donating to charitable organizations.

A third fraud scheme surrounds non-delivery scams. Essentially, criminal actors advertise as an in-demand medical supply company that sells medical supplies that can be used to prevent/protect against the Coronavirus. The criminal enterprise will demand upfront payment or initial deposits then abscond with the funds and never complete delivery of the ordered products.

Quick Tips:

 Phishing Emails / Social Engineering – Avoid opening attachments and clicking on links within emails from senders you do not recognize. These attachments can contain malicious content, such as ransomware, that can infect your device and steal your information. Be leery of emails or phone calls requesting account information or requesting you to verify your account. Legitimate businesses will never call you or email you directly for this information.

Always independently verify any requested information originates from a legitimate source.

Visit websites by inputting the domain name yourself. Business use encryption, Secure Socket Layer (SSL). Certificate “errors” can be a warning sign that something is not right with the website.
The United States Secret Service will continue leading the charge to combat cyber-enabled financial crimes.

To learn more about the Secret Service’s Investigative Mission please visit us at:

This post is a direct copy off of the Secret Service’s web site Here

Gift USB are they a Problem ?

    The FBI is
warning of attacks from the FIN7 APT in which victims are sent USB drives via
USPS and prompted to examine its contents. This attack is a variation of the
“lost USB” or “BadUSB” tactic in which a malicious USB is dropped on site with
the intention of a curious employee finding it and inspecting the contents.
This version, however, is much more targeted. In one instance, the attackers
sent a package containing a USB drive, a letter, and a gift card for a major
electronics retailer to a hospitality company. The letter thanked the
recipient for being a regular customer and prompted them to use the gift card
for any items specified on the USB drive. The FBI warns that many of these
packages have been sent to businesses that targeted employees in human
resources, IT, or management.
    Researchers at
Trustwave analyzed the USB device and found that once plugged in, the USB
emulates a keyboard and downloads a JavaScript backdoor, which the attackers
can use to access the machine. The backdoor, known as GRIFFON, is a tool
commonly associated with the FIN7 group. Researchers found that the backdoor
will contact IP addresses of Russian origin, another indicator of the FIN7
group. In their analysis, researchers were able to match identifiers on the
printed circuit board to a malicious USB for sale on an international marketplace. The
researchers state that the “USB device used an Arduino microcontroller and was
programmed to emulate a USB keyboard. Since PCs trust keyboard USB devices by
default, once it is plugged in, the keyboard emulator can automatically inject
malicious commands.” This device was able to be purchased for as low as 5
dollars, much cheaper than premium BadUSB devices, which can retail for up to
100 dollars.

    While rare, USB style
attacks can happen.
The best way to prevent
this attack is to avoid using any unknown USBs. In an
organization, informing employees about BadUSB attacks and providing a means to
report suspicious devices is an important prevention step. Additionally,
limiting physical access to machines
will help prevent a bad actor on-site from exploiting devices via USB. Some anti- virus programs now provide
keyboard authorization, which means that when
the antivirus detects that a keyboard has been plugged in, the user must verify
that it is indeed a keyboard and not a USB flash drive. BadUSB attacks can take
many forms but educating users in combination with proper security controls is
the best way to prevent the exploitation of this attack.


A new type of attack

execution attacks seem to come out every month at this point. We’ve previously written about ones like Spectre and Meltdown, which allow an attacker to read portions of memory they
should not have access to. A new speculative execution attack has recently been
unveiled which focuses on Intel processors and operates with slight differences
from previous attack methods. The attack was first discovered on April 4th,
2019 by Jo Van Bulck and has been under a press embargo with Intel until very
recently. The attack was also independently discovered by researchers from
Bitdefender in February of 2020.
    The new attack goes by the name Load Value Injection, which is a
descriptor for a new class of attacks on modern Intel processors. The
attack focuses on exfil- trating data from the Intel SGX, which is a vault
built into Intel processors designed to store secrets, even if the host
operating system is compromised. This new attack class can bypass the
mitigations released for all previously known
speculative execution attacks. In addition to bypassing
previous mitigations, the researchers say creating mitigations for this attack
is much more difficult. They also claim a potential performance impact making
SGX computations 19 times slower after mitigations are applied on a system.

     This new attack works in an opposite fashion compared to
previous attacks like Spectre and Meltdown. “We smuggle — ‘inject’ — the
attacker’s data through hidden processor buffers into a victim program and
hijack transient execution to acquire sensitive information, such as the victim’s
fingerprints or passwords”, according to the researchers. This is in contrast to previous attacks
where the victim’s
information was leaked directly to the attacker via arbitrary memory reads.
While the researchers haven’t found a way to leverage this new attack across
virtual machine domains, they believe it is theoretically possible.


    To mitigate this new attack class, Intel is performing
hardware fixes in the sili- con of future CPUs. This should reduce the
performance penalty resulting from the software fixes currently being rolled out. For
current CPU
s that require miti- gation, Intel is releasing an update to its SGX
SDK for developers. This update includes
multiple fixes such as blacklisting certain processor instructions and explicit
speculative execution barriers. According to Intel, depending on your specific
workload and threat model, it may be advantageous to forego the patches until
the issues are fixes in silicon due to the performance penalties.